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Michael Winik, C’05, W’05 and Rebecca Beyer Winik, C’05

Co-Founders, Our Harvest

Huntington, NY

Michael Winik: Political Science and Finance Major

Rebecca Beyer Winik: Psychology Major

Michael

The whole goal of what we’re trying to do is to bring local amazing small family farms directly to customers who can’t get to the farmers market, or they can’t get to farms directly. We’re trying to be that bridge and get stuff literally the day it’s harvested to our customers as often as possible.

We had the benefit of doing a lot of traveling around the world, seeing how people actually eat and their relationship with food in different places. In the south of France people go grocery shopping once or twice a day. It’s the same in Vietnam. It’s the same in Thailand. And here we’re buying stuff that is filled with chemicals and can sit on a shelf for months and months and months. When you taste something that was picked that day or was caught that day out of the ocean–those are the kind of experiences that we had that really shape the career trajectory.

Especially if you’re trying to take an entrepreneurial path, everyone has this dream or this vision… like, I’m going to start a company and it’s just going to be wonderful, sort of like all sunshine and rainbows. When you actually run a business there are things that happen at all hours of the night and the day that put you back in that moment where you’re cramming for that test that you’re worried you’ll fail. You’re going to have those moments in your career, whatever it is, where you’re really stressed out. And having the experience and the knowledge that you build at school to be able to drive through that is something that’s really important.

 

Rebecca

I did a lot of really cool things in the architecture world and then in 2013 we both had come to a point in our respective jobs where we said we wanted to be doing something a little bit different.

My role at Our Harvest is very multi-faceted. Even though it’s a food company there are so many different aspects to what we do on a daily basis that are relatable to what we’ve done during our whole education.

I think going outside of your comfort zone a little bit is … it’s so cliché but I think it’s something that’s a critical aspect of learning. You don’t learn unless you do some practicing in something that you don’t already know how to do…. Like for instance, when the company started, Mike was driving the truck. I mean, Mike has a dual degree from Penn and he was driving the truck to deliver food in the beginning, because that’s what you do when you want to make your company successful. You do every job that is possible. You mop the floors. You do whatever it takes to get yourself up and running. — October 3, 2018 • Photo by Brooke Sietinsons